Portobelo Kaiapoi - 19/07/2016

1 Evaluation of Portobelo Kaiapoi

How well placed is Portobelo Kaiapoi to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Portobelo Kaiapoi Preschool is Well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Portobelo Kaiapoi is one of three centres privately owned by Portobelo Preschools Limited. The centres share a common vision and values that set the direction for Portobelo services. A director is part of the centre management team that includes the professional leader and centre manager.

The centre is located next to Portobelo Otaki Street and provides education and care for children from three years old to school age. An increasing number of children are from a diverse range of cultures. Centre leaders and teachers continue to provide support for families who are still affected by the Canterbury earthquakes.

Most staff are qualified early childhood teachers. A number of them have worked at the centre for long periods of time. The centre manager and team leader have responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the centre.

Since the 2013 ERO review, there have been a number of new developments to support the operation of Portobelo services at governance and management level. Centre leaders and teachers have made some progress in meeting the key next steps for development. They have reviewed how well group times meet the needs of all children and made effective changes to their practices. More work is needed to consolidate assessment and planning for groups of children and to further extend the use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the learning programme.

The Review Findings

Children experience positive interactions and respectful, responsive relationships with each other and their teachers. They have many opportunities to make choices about their creative and physical play from a wide range of carefully presented resources and activities. Children are encouraged to develop self-help and independence skills. Teachers support children to care for themselves, others and the learning environment.

The centre is well led and managed. Teachers provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for children and families by fostering a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging. They are well aware of children's interests and development. Teachers are strongly focused on extending children's ideas and learning. The indoor and outside areas are well resourced with an extensive range of equipment to challenge children's learning and development.

Teachers ask parents about what they want for their children and use this information to set appropriate individual learning goals. They make meaningful links between home and the centre, and value children's home culture and language.

Teachers work effectively together to assess children's learning, affirm their progress and provide the learning programme. Children's learning journals provide a significant record of each child's individual learning.

Transition into the centre is very well planned and responsive to the needs of each child and family. Older children from the preschool visit the adjacent nursery and become a buddy to younger children by supporting their transition into the preschool.

Recently, teachers have focused on strengthening transition-to-school processes. They have provided helpful information for parents explaining how the centre learning programme develops children's skills and confidence to successfully transition to school. Children have regular opportunities to visit the school. Centre leaders have established a strong relationship with the local school and introduced a 3-way conference process among parents, the school and centre when children are due to start school.

There is a supportive management structure. Teachers are very well supported by the service provider and professional leader. Service leaders are building sustainable processes that focus on continuous improvement. Long-term planning reflects service priorities and promotes positive outcomes for children. Key management documentation is well aligned to the service goals.

There is a strong focus on the provision of relevant professional development to help teachers think about and continually improve their teaching. Leaders provide many opportunities for teachers to take leadership roles and further build their capability. The positive impact of professional development is clearly linked to the evidence-based appraisal process.

Self review occurs at all levels of the organisation and is well understood and used by managers and leaders. They are currently further strengthening teachers' knowledge of planned review.

The service provider and professional leader are actively involved in, and contribute professionally to the wider early childhood education community. They have effective systems to monitor the wellbeing and safety of all involved in the service.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have identified, and ERO’s evaluation confirms, that the key next steps are to:

  • strengthen self-review practices

  • further develop group programme planning and evaluation processes

  • increase bicultural perspectives in all service documentation and practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Portobelo Kaiapoi completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to: 

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration. 

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Portobelo Kaiapoi will be in three years.

Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

19 July 2016

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

31 children, two years and older

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 23; Girls 17

Ethnic composition



Cook Island

Latin American

Other European






Percentage of qualified teachers 0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

19 July 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

April 2009

Education Review

November 2005

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children

Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.